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Inhibition of the mitotic kinase PLK1 overcomes therapeutic resistance to BET inhibitors in triple negative breast cancer

AuthorsNieto-Jiménez, Cristina; Galán-Moya, Eva María; Corrales-Sánchez, Verónica; Noblejas-López, María del Mar; Burgos, Miguel; Domingo, Beatriz; Montero, Juan Carlos CSIC ORCID; Gómez-Juárez, Mónica; Picazo-Martinez, Maria Granada; Esparís-Ogando, Azucena CSIC ORCID CVN ; Pandiella, Atanasio CSIC ORCID CVN ; Ocaña, Alberto
KeywordsCancer resistance
Issue Date2020
CitationCancer Letters 491: 50-59 (2020)
AbstractThe inhibition of bromo- and extraterminal domains (BET) has shown an anti-proliferative effect in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). In this article we explore mechanisms of resistance to BET inhibitors (BETi) in TNBC, with the aim of identifying novel ways to overcome such resistance. Two cellular models of acquired resistance to the BET inhibitor JQ1 were generated using a pulsed treatment strategy. MTT, colony formation, and cytometry assays revealed that BETi-resistant cells were particularly sensitive to PLK1 inhibition. Targeting of the latter reduced cell proliferation, especially in resistant cultures. Quantitative PCR analysis of a panel of mitotic kinases uncovered an increased expression of AURKA, TTK, and PLK1, confirmed by Western blot. Only pharmacological inhibition of PLK1 showed anti-proliferative activity on resistant cells, provoking G2/M arrest, increasing expression levels of cyclin B, pH3 and phosphorylation of Bcl-2 proteins, changes that were accompanied by induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis. JQ1-resistant cells orthotopically xenografted into the mammary fat pad of mice led to tumours that retained JQ1-resistance. Administration of the PLK1 inhibitor volasertib resulted in tumour regression. These findings open avenues to explore the future use of PLK1 inhibitors in the clinical setting of BETi-resistant patients.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2020.06.020
Appears in Collections:(IBMCC) Artículos
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